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OTHER SPORTS : Dallas Belles Choose Hafner in 4th Round of Major League Volleyball Assn. Draft for Season That Begins in February; ESPN to Broadcast 10 Games

Heather Hafner, a three-time All-American at Cal State Northridge, was the 21st player selected Monday in the inaugural draft of the Major League Volleyball Assn., a professional league for women that begins its first season Feb. 21.

Hafner was selected in the fourth round by the Dallas Belles, one of six teams in the fledgling league.

The draft was limited to 160 players selected by the MLVA as qualified to play in the league, commissioner Steve Arnold said. The only players excluded from consideration from the draft were those under contractual obligation to another league and undergraduates.

Only one member of the U.S Olympic team that won the silver medal at the 1984 Summer Games was selected. Jeanne Beauprey of UCLA was a territorial pick of Los Angeles. The remainder of the Olympic team is either under contractual obligation to another league or unavailable because of family considerations.

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Of the 160 players on the draft list, only half were selected. Each team picked 13 players, and 18 will be invited to training camps.

“A lot of free agents will have shots at making a team,” Arnold said.

Under the unique format of the MLVA, there are no individual team owners. Instead, five owner-investors will fund all six teams.

Players will be paid from a pool of $500,000. Teams will play two games a week, with players on the winning team earning $300 per match and the losing team earning $200 each. Players will earn a minimum of $5,000 for the season, which runs through May 21.

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ESPN will televise 10 games on a delayed broadcast basis, beginning with a Feb. 22 match between Los Angeles and New York and ending with live coverage of the league final, commissioner Steve Arnold announced Monday.

Dallas will be coached by Ruth Nelson, who coached collegiately at Houston and Lousiana State.

Ann Kniss, NCAA Division II Player of the Year for national champion UC Riverside, was selected in the seventh round by Los Angeles. She was the 42nd player selected overall.

Keith Hernandez of Moorpark, who finished third in the state among 118-pound junior college wrestlers, was named the team’s most valuable player. Dana Heggen and Elizabeth Tagg were named co-most valuable players of the Moorpark women’s volleyball team, and Chris Pressman was named most valuable player of the cross-country team. Rhonda Riber was selected as the women’s cross-country team most valuable player.

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